Are you a wake up and snooze-er? I’m usually not, but I have been snoozing my alarm recently. I don’t know if it’s cause I’m tired or tired of the same old boring breakfast. I enjoy cereal as much as the next girl, but it keeps me full for about an hour. My stomach is screaming at me shortly after even the most delectable bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats. Eggs are always yummy, but who wants to take the time to cook before work. Not me, that’s for sure. And let’s face it; oatmeal is about as exciting as a beige sweater set.
Sure, I can pick up a breakfast sandwich from my local deli, but it’s about that time of year when I think less about bacon and more about bikinis. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a cute two-piece.
So what’s left to eat in the Wonderful World of Breakfast Options? Quinoa, that’s what. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a high-protein grain that is prepared just like rice. Once it’s cooked, its fluffy but with a slightly nutty flavor. It is great as a side dish for lunch or dinner, or as an unexpected and delicious breakfast!
This recipe for breakfast quinoa can be made ahead of time and reheated in the microwave. So, it’s an easy solution for the breakfast blues and a great way to kick start your summer slim down.
Sweet Breakfast Quinoa (4 servings)
1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup slivered almonds
½ cup dried apricots, diced
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
½ tsp. finely grated orange zest
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup fresh ricotta (optional)
In a small saucepan, cover quinoa with water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender (about 15 minutes). When all the water has been absorbed turn off the heat. Lightly fluff the quinoa with a fork and cover again.
In a medium skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil. Add the almonds and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the almonds are golden (about 2 minutes). Add the apricots, maple syrup, orange zest and cinnamon and stir until heated through. Add the quinoa and stir gently to incorporate. If you are going to serve immediately, top each portion with a tablespoon of ricotta cheese. If you are going to save this for work, pre-portion it into Tupperware and refrigerate until ready to eat! Then, just reheat, top with ricotta and enjoy!